Friday, 4 November 2016

Splinter the Silence by Val McDermid (#9 Tony Hill & Carol Jordan)

Title: Splinter the Silence
Series: Tony Hill & Carol Jordan (#9)
Author: Val McDermid
From: Netgalley
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Release Date: 1st December 2015
Challenges:  2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge,2016 Blogger Shame 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): 'That day, waiting had been almost unbearable. He wanted something more spectacular, something that couldn't be ignored. These deaths needed to make a mark . . .'
Psychological profiler Tony Hill is trained to see patterns, to decode the mysteries of human behaviour, and when he comes across a series of suicides among women tormented by vicious online predators, he begins to wonder if there is more to these tragedies than meets the eye. Similar circumstances, different deaths. Could it be murder? But what kind of serial killer wants his crimes to stay hidden? Former DCI Carol Jordan has her own demons to confront, but with lives at stake, Tony and Carol begin the hunt for the most dangerous and terrifying kind of killer - someone who has nothing to fear and nothing to lose . . .
Splinter the Silence is the 9th book of the Tony Hill & Carol Jordan series. Crime wise Splinter the Silence is completely standalone, however there are some things in the book, particularly the complicated relationship between Tony and Carol, that are clearer if you've read previous books. There will be very minor spoilers in this review, but nothing major.

This book did have a couple of "finally!" moments for me. The first was Carol coming to terms with her drinking problem (which became an issue after the events in The Last Temptation, book 3, for various reasons and carried on through the books. However it doesn't take over the series and is just a sub plot) and, with help, doing something about it. Then there are the bridges between Tony and Carol. After book 7, things between them were a bit rocky (and through book 8), but now things are smoothing out a bit between them and their relationship is coming back together (though to be clear it's not quite romantic in nature).

I've read some reviews that accuse this book of being one that fills a gap and brings the characters back together. To some extent I can agree, but I don't think that that's a bad thing. This book sees the return of Paula (though she played a major role in the previous book too), Stacey and Kevin, as well as one of the more minor characters from a few books back, Alvin. I think this book was important to set up the team for the next installment (or what I hope is going to be a next installment!)

The crime itself was interesting, it didn't start off as an actual police investigation, instead it was an exercise Tony was using to distract Carol but accidentally turned out to be something worth investigating (almost a bit like Wire in the Blood, but a different setting and different reasons). It was reasonable for the police force to have missed the murders, and knowing Tony it was reasonable for him to pick up on it.

The other thing that needed investigating in this book was who leaked the story about Carol to the press. Now as soon as I read what had happened I knew who was responsible (as I think many readers of the series would), though I did wonder at one point if someone on the team was covering for them. It was interesting to see where one team member's loyalties really lay, and I was glad by the outcome.

Carol and Tony are addictive, and I'm now gutted that I'm all caught up and have to wait for their next story!